Enviornmental protection developers say they can stop the Michigan Oil Spill

8:20 PM, Aug 4, 2010   |    comments
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  • "Petroleum Remediation Product."

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WZZM) -- It's been more than a week since the Enbridge Oil Spill sent more than a million gallons of oil into a creek, leading to the Kalamazoo River.

Since then, both Enbridge and the Environmental Protection Agency said they have enough resources to clean up the mess.

But a local businessman and inventor disagree.

"We can not only save the land, the homeowners and the state of Michigan," said RTG Recovery President Todd Brown. "But we can do it for 5% of the cost, and we can do it immediately."

Brown and his partner, "Biofermentation" expert Dr. Rob Whiteman, are pitching a substance they say is quicker, cheaper, safer and more efficient than what is currently being used to clean up the spill. 

The powder is called PRP or "Petroleum Remediation Product."

Brown says it's a natural substance made from bee's wax that was originally developed by NASA.

"It will encapsulate all the oil, it will suck and absorb it from three inches down off the top of the water," Brown said. "It wipes the sheen completely off. Immediately."

Whiteman then uses a product he developed to generate natural microbes at the site of the spill. According to Whiteman, the bacteria then grabs the capsulated oil, and literally eats it... expunging the toxins into harmless gas and producing water.

"That would take a third of the time to remediate completely," Whiteman said.

Brown said it would take 39,000 pounds of his product to meld with the oil in the river. He's trying to get the EPA to adopt the method to help with the cleanup.

"It wouldn't even take 1/100th of the percent of what they're going to spend," He said. "It's nothing." 

But because "PRP" is not on the EPA's emergency product list for disaster situations and because of what Brown and Whiteman call a "flawed bureaucratic system," the substance has yet to be adopted.

Meanwhile, Whiteman says his biofermentation process is the final stages of being approved to help with the Gulf Oil Spill.

He says for it to work in Michigan, they have to apply the product before the weather gets cold.

Congressman Pete Hoekstra saw a private demo of the product taking effect. He has since written two letters of recommendation to the EPA and Governor Jennifer Granholm.

Brown and Whiteman are appealing to the EPA's on site director at the spill site.  

"It takes maybe 20 years to get out a new technology. It's not unusual that nobody's heard of it," Whiteman said. "It's who you know, not what you know."

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